Depending on whether Houston Texans and Kansas City Chief kick off September 10 at Arrowhead Stadium, where we expect one of the most significant moments in league history. That will be as 100 days remain before the scheduled start of the 2020 NFL Season.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, none of the major professional leagues has been able to resume play. Some will say that it has provided the NFL and NFL Players Association with more time to deal with the issues of testing, safety protocols, payroll adjustments and fan policies with less urgency than their cross-sport counterparts.
For NFL Season to start Sept.10, in the next 100 days, the league has a lengthy agenda list to be observed strictly both on and off the field.
When the facilities began reopening on May 19, we saw teams bring 50% of its non-field employees, for a total of up to 75 people in the building at any time. But in a memo to the teams by Goodell, all the facilities would reopen at some capacity. The coaches will be allowed to return by Friday with speculations for the return of Players before the NFL offseason ends June 26.
According to the unusual events we’ve experienced and learnt this year, an extension beyond June 26 wouldn’t be ruled out acknowledging that the start of the training camps could be pushed back.
All the teams have been instructed to plan an on-time start to camps in late July, but for that to happen is dependent on three key factors:
- Acquiescence from state and local government in the localities that house NFL Stadiums.
- Agreement from the players, via the NFLPA, on that protocol and any potential economic concessions.
- The NFL’s success in conceiving and implementing a health and safety protocol that minimizes the chances of infection and ensures quick action to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
The NFL hasn’t decided yet whether to allow fans to gather in significant numbers, but there are contingency plans which could have a limited number of fans per game. The Dolphins recently unveiled plans to limit crowds to as low as 15,000 people at Hart Rock Stadium, allowing them to maintain physical distancing within the 65,000-seat facility.
As we have seen, the NFL has followed a simple pattern throughout the coronavirus pandemic: Maintain original schedules until they are no longer viable. So, there is no absolute assurance to expect the NFL to make any imminent announcements about training or the season. For the most part, it has implemented its virtual offseason program in two-week increments. That’s an excellent working understanding of how the rest of the summer could go.
No one could tell when this pandemic will end or when the cure will be invented as we have encountered the ruthlessness of COVID-19 and its evidence of mass grave of loved ones as the infection rate continues to spike high every week. All that matters at the moment is to stay at home and be safe for one another as we wait for life to get back to normal.
Wayne Sims is the Lead Editor for Chroniclex with 12 years of experience. Wayne has been working for Many Large Online Publications for nearly a decade and has published his articles in many prints and digital publications including Erieview Newsstand, Bond Court News and Private Entertainment. When Wayne is not busy writing She likes stitching.